bathing: avoid soap (mostly)
keep your child’s skin moist
Children with eczema often lack some of the normal skin oils that keep the moisture in the skin.
- When your child’s skin gets too dry it can form tiny cracks that allow bacteria to enter.
- Then your child’s immune system reacts to the bacteria, and the skin gets red and itchy.
Sudsy water from soap or shampoo dissolves and carries away the very skin oils the child needs to maintain moisture.
So…Minimize the use of soap
If the child is actually dirty, then you will need to use soap but use it only on the dirty areas.
For example, if there is soil from the diaper on the skin, then use a washcloth with soap, but only on the dirty area.
Try to keep shampoo only on the scalp.
- Use a bathtub spray hose to rinse the suds off the scalp so that it does not touch the rest of the child’s skin.
- It can be helpful to tilt the child forward or backwards and use the spray hose to rinse the suds right into the bathtub.
- Before taking your child from the tub, lift the child, and rinse off the legs that were standing in the bath water.